How to Clean a Former Meth Lab Property

How to Clean a Former Meth Lab Property. After the authorities have finished with their investigation of a meth lab property, the clean-up can begin. Health experts know very little about the long-term effects of exposure to contaminants left at a former meth lab.

The chemicals used can leave a residue in the wall boards, floors, draperies and furniture. The actual drug itself may remain on the surfaces and may be absorbed through the skin.

  1. Start by airing the building out for at least 3 days. Law enforcement usually has chemical waste removal specialists to take care of any bulk chemicals and lab waste before the actual clean-up begins. They open doors and windows for their safety during this procedure but continue to leave them open during the whole cleaning process. Exhaust fans are useful to move the fumes out of the building.

  2. Gather and double bag all noticeably contaminated articles such as curtains, fabrics, clothing and carpets. Also, throw away all unnecessary household items. All of these may be disposed of in the regular trash if double bagged. If you find lab equipment or containers with liquid, leave the house and call the authorities to come remove them.

  3. Change the air filters after cleaning the ductwork and washing around all vents. Clean around the area of the ceiling and wall adjacent to the vents.

  4. Clean all surfaces with regular household cleaners. Painting the walls and ceilings adds an additional barrier between the surface and anyone exposed to it. Depending on the degree of contamination, you may need to remove and dispose of these parts of the structure.

  5. Check the plumbing. If there is a strong chemical smell coming from the drains, consider a contaminated septic system. Don't address the problem yourself; call you local health department or a professional environmental clean-up service for assistance.

  6. Continue to air the property out for 3 to 5 more days and then check for residual odors. If an odor persists, have the property tested to see if a chemical contamination continues to exist. It may be costly, but it is for your protection against liability. Your insurance company can advise you on this procedure.

  7. Keep all documentation of professional and non-professional cleaning as proof of the work done. Meth lab property is a matter of public record, and you are responsible for disclosing this information. Before you rent or sell it, you must verify that it is contaminant free.

  8. Tip

    Check your state and local agencies for specific regulations and guidelines regarding the clean-up of a former meth lab property. Your local law enforcement can assist you with this information.


    The safest way to approach a clean-up of a former meth lab is to hire professionals trained in hazardous waste clean-up and removal. Wear protective clothing, eyewear and gloves at all times during the cleaning process if you choose to do it yourself.